First Aquascape!

Bettascape

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7 Apr 2019
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Hi!

I've just finished setting up my first planted tank/Aquascape (if you can call it that). Admittedly, it is very low tech (the cheap co2 'diffuser' in particular!)

I'm just wondering where to go from here? I.e when to start fertalising, how often to change the water, how many hours of light, etc. Any advice is most definitely welcome!

Eleocharis mini
Echinodorus Reni
Lobelia cardinalis
Hygrophila siamensis


IMG_20190409_025103.jpg
 

Konsa

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Lostock Hall
Hi and welcome @ukaps.
Its a good start U have there.
It will be enough to start with 6h of light
Fertilisers can be started straight away.Just make sure U get complete fertiliser (Macro plus micro elements)TCN complete or The Aquascaper complete will do the job.
Waterchanges as much as U can do at that stage but 50% once a week as a minimum.
The addition of CO2 makes tank high tech no matter how basic is the equipment U are using.
What size is the tank.What light,filter it has and what temperature U have in there.
From your plant list the Eleocharis mini will be the challenge as is a bit more demanding but everything else grows no problem even without CO2 supplementation so U should be ok.

Regards Konsa
 

Bettascape

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Thanks!

It's a 54litre tank
6w LED light
AquaEl - internal PAT (?) filter
The temperature is around 78-80

Is it worth doing a small (25%) water change 3 times a week to begin with? And if so, when should I start doing less frequent water changes?
 

Konsa

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Lostock Hall
Hi
U dont really need temp that high.CO2 and O2 dissolve better in lower temp and more difficult in higher.I keep my tanks at 22-24°C
And had no issues with fish being cold.
It ia really up to U how often and what volume your waterchanges will be. The more and the bigger the better. The idea behind that is in new tank it takes few weeks(4-6) the bacteria to establish their colonies(not only in filter but in substrate and rest of the surfaces arround the tank) and the plants will be transitioning to their submersed forms releasing organics in the process. U want to remove as much of those organics and any damaged leaves U see to keep tank clean and prevent algae settling down.Preventive maintenance is always better than corective one.
After that 4-6 week period your tank will have resilient microbal colonies and hopefully actively growing plants and U can add your livestock relax and enjoy your beautiful tank.
Regards Konsa
 

Bettascape

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7 Apr 2019
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Location
England
Ah ok. I only had the tank at that temp because that's what I was told was best for a Betta. Maybe I'll reduce it and then increase it slightly once the tank is established and I've added my Betta.

Thanks so much for your advice! Greatly appreciated.

I'm sure I'll be back for some more advice at some point!
 

Bettascape

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I've gone with 3x 8-10L water changes a week.
Got a bottle of TCN Complete. It advises 1ml per 10L weekly, but I was thinking of spreading that amount into smaller doses, rather than just one weekly. As I'll be regularly making water changes during this cycling period. What do you reckon?
 

Siege

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Cambridgeshire, UK
First week daily water changes, as big as you can.
Second week every other day, still as big as you can.
Third week, water change twice a week. Still big.
Gradually work down to weekly.

Re TNC Complete, check out the instructions on EVolution Aqua Aquascaper and follow that. Perhaps half dose as you have very little plant mass.

I’d suggest getting some floating plants to eat up some nutrients, even if you do not keep them permanently. They’ll also help dim the lights.

Consider going full co2 you’ll notice the difference!

Get a few big rocks same type that you have and smash them up. Spread them around the soil areas it’ll look nice and natural and prevent the soil getting mixed with sand too much! :)
 

Bettascape

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Excellent advice. Thanks! I used flexible substrate dividers to keep the sand separate (not quite visible in the pic) but some extra hardscape would look good!
BTW, the large rock on the right and the one on the far left are both from my previous low tech tank, so should help with the cycle?

When would you suggest that I add fertilisers? Wouldn't the initially frequent water changes make them less effective?

Sorry for all the questions! I've been eager to get a planted tank set up since getting my first aquarium so I want to try and give it the best start poss!
 

Siege

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Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
Differing opinions on when to add start adding ferts most people start straight away, others wait 2 weeks and then start.

There is some argument that when you have lots of tissue culture plants start straight away as they have very little in the way of reserves.

Dose after water change if you are doing one that day.

Hope that helps!
 

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